The Minnesota Wild is a franchise in contention for the Stanley Cup this season and for the foreseeable future, even though it lacks the star power of some other contenders. Its success over seasons past has meant few lottery picks, but the team has also been notably light in drafting from the CHL in the course of its history. After being burned by CHL players from Benoit Pouliot to Colton Gillies to James Sheppard to Tyler Cuma to Zack Phillips to Alexandre Belanger – drafted in 2013 and already out of the system – maybe that aversion is justifiable.
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The San Jose Sharks have nine players playing in Canadian Junior Hockey during the 2015-16 season, and two playing in the USHL. This group of young players features some of the most promising and intriguing skaters in the prospect pool – including the team’s number one prospect, Timo Meier.
The New York Islanders have a small, but supremely talented group of junior prospects. They have looked to the CHL early in the NHL draft, as four of the six juniors have been first round picks; two in 2014 in Michael Dal Colle and Josh Ho-Sang, and two in 2015 with Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier. Read more »
The Vancouver Canucks have done a fine job of re-stocking their prospect pool over the last few seasons and the good scouting and smart drafting has finally begun to bear fruit. Former CHL stars Bo Horvat, Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann are all now full time NHL players. The wisdom of having Virtanen and McCann in the NHL this season could be debated but they should play important roles for the Canucks for many years to come. Here is a look at the Canucks prospects currently playing in the junior ranks of North America.
The Buffalo Sabres have their centers for the future in Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly and Sam Reinhart, but the organization is hoping to develop talent on the wings to support that trio. One of those wingers looking to complement the likes of an Eichel or a Reinhart is right wing Justin Bailey – one of three second round picks for the Sabres at the 2013 NHL Draft. Read more »
In this week’s Prospect Faceoff, the reigning Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week will try and slow down one of the QMJHL’s most proficient scorers. Two Toronto Maple Leafs prospects will go head-to-head in a Thanksgiving Day matinee, while two ‘A’ rated 2016 NHL Draft-eligible skaters clash in the WHL. In the USHL, a pair of Clark Cup champions go one-on-one, while two of the NCAA’s finest freshmen collide. Read more »
Every year it seems like one or two players in the hockey world pull off a lacrosse-style goal that catches the attention of national media. Tomas Soustal joined the club this weekend, drawing the attention of hockey fans worldwide. Also in this week’s edition of Prospect Impressions, Leon Draisaitl and Teemu Pulkkinen score, plus more from junior hockey and one college play that has coaches taking notes. Read more »
The Kings have a fairly large group of CHL representatives this year, many coming out of the 2014 and 2015 NHL Entry drafts. While they have a large numbers of players, they have few upper-round picks representing the team. They also are strictly limited to just two leagues of the CHL: the WHL and the OHL. With eleven players currently playing in the CHL, only two are from the first three rounds of the draft. The Kings are going to need some late rounders to blossom (and they have a few on their way) to really make the best out of a group full of outliers and depth players.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have one prospect playing at the Canadian major junior level, forward Jaden Lindo. A sixth-round pick in 2014, Lindo is playing in his fourth season in the OHL. The organization also has one player at the junior-A level, the 6-foot-7 behemoth Nikita Pavylchev, who is playing in the USHL for the Des Moines Buccaneers. Read more »